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Today’s idea of intelligence
Another mistake I see many people making is using the value systems propagated by the status-quo or institutions such as schools which aren’t designed with the individual in mind. In school, a valuable student is one who learns well with the appointed teaching styles, memorizes facts and does what he/she is told.
These points might seem benign, but they actually hold a prejudice towards what type of person will fail in the education system.
Perhaps a student struggles with learning from a blackboard or computer screen, preferring a more practical based style of education? They could be as smart as Albert Einstein but still fail because they didn’t learn anything with the way it was taught to them.
Perhaps a student finds it very difficult to memorize seemingly useless facts in class that have no relevance to real life, only for the sole purpose of regurgitating them in a test? It doesn’t make the student dumb, maybe all they need is a way to relate the information to real life. Unfortunately a bad mark on a test is just that, and so the people whose educational needs aren’t catered for get an impression that they aren’t very intelligent.
Such a message, especially to a young person, can have lasting effects on how they value their intellectual capacities. We are currently in a huge information and technology boom, but so many people may avoid jumping into growing industries because they were told they aren’t intelligent enough.
Don’t believe anyone, whether it’s a school or a government, who tells you that you’re unintelligent. There are many different forms of smarts, and our current culture only supports a few of these forms.
Finding the right “ruler”
An important idea to keep in mind is that personal value is effected greatly by your perspective. It comes down to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty. If you don’t have much money and you try to use money and income as your ruler for personal value, you’re going to focus on what you don’t have and see yourself as half-empty or unsuccessful.
The way to view the glass as half full is to look at and value the things you DO have. Many of us are richer then we actually know. If you’re an artist or a musician, realize how special a skill you have. Many people struggle to articulate feelings and expressions, and because of that you possess a rare skill.
If you enjoy fitness and looking after your body, take pride in your health and know that it makes you so much richer than most. Roughly 30% of the global population is either overweight or obese and this trend looks to worsen.
Whether you’re good with computers, people, animals, or one of the million different things I haven’t mentioned, no matter what it is, it makes you rich in a way more unique than money can. The trick is to find what is special about you, what makes you unique, and then to become better at it. A lot of the time you won’t make money from it but personal growth, fulfillment, and doing what it is that you ACTUALLY ENJOY is worth more than sacrificing years of your life for cash.
So remember that everyone has something unique and special about themselves, something that makes them rich beyond money. The trick is realizing what exactly that is and then utilizing it to improve your life.
If you’re struggling to find that special thing, keep in mind that you’re still an amazing human being. Everyone has the potential to be something and to do something they love, so try different things and search for what makes you feel passionate, happy and alive. You only get to die once, so before that happens try to take advantage of the little time you have here.